Gin Review BeginI was in Canberra over the weekend for a birthday party. Rooftop. 2pm. 38 degrees. Gin and tonic weather. We were staying right in the CBD so I expected easy access to a good liquor store, but no. The only option was a supermarket with a liquor section. All the spirits were locked behind glass, it felt being a naughty teenager waiting for a staff member to come and unlock the cupboard.

They had Tanqueray and Bombay Sapphire, at horrifyingly high prices, and they had Begin Gin for just $30. I did a quick search, no reviews but I found that it’s an Australian gin distilled in Victoria. I’ve been wanting to review more Australian gins so I decided to give it go, despite serious apprehension.

THE PROCESS

This is a distilled dry gin, but not a London Dry, which means it can include sugar and flavourings in the recipe.  There is no information on the bottle or the website, so beyond that I’m just going on what I can taste and smell.

THE BOTANICALS

There is no ingredient list on the bottle or on the website, so there is definitely juniper in but everything else is a guess. There are citrusy notes as well as hints of spice. There are definitely some earthy roots in there, angelica or orris perhaps but I can’t be sure.

TASTING NOTES

On the nose there is juniper, citrus and hints of turpentine. On the tongue it is full and floral and over-sweet up front, I suspect it is mixed with sugar. This is followed by a very sharp, acrid aftertaste reminiscent of Semillon and cough syrup. This is not a gin to drink on its own.

Mixed with tonic water it is lightly refreshing and the tonic cuts the unpleasant aftertaste. With plenty of ice and cucumber it was reasonably diverting on a hot afternoon, but the faint note of turpentine lingered and makes one a bit headachey. At its price point I would recommend Beefeater as significantly better.

WHAT OTHERS SAY

I can’t find any reviews, but if you try do tell me what you think.

4 comments on “Tasting Gin | Begin Gin”

  1. Well – what a surprise. I had to really severely reprimand my hubby because of this gin. Likewise the choice of high end prices for average gins and one at an average price for a real surprise. Pure ethanol has more substance. The hubby sought to alter it with cointreau and nice vermouth. That is why I had to deal him severely – he wasted my Cointreau. Nothing could erase the disaster of this Gin.

  2. in the eighties we lived in a small country town in Western Australia. No shops for my needs, I would shop in Perth once a week/ten days. I must have made a miscalculation when I found my gin bottle empty (drinking G&T had not grown to the hobby it is now). I went to the local pub, a place to be avoided in those days and bought the only gin available: Vickers. I think I paid $30 which, believe me, was a fortune. I came home and had a sniff – hmm, awkward but still, I was desperate for a G&T on this late Friday summer’s afternoon. It was an harrendous taste experience – it was like drinking 4711 with tonic, at least that I imagine 4711 & tonic to taste like. I have never forgotten that experience. I tried BeGin gin once – same experience. If I don’t have the usual brands (I currently have 15 or 16 in the fridge), I’ll have a SSB – I love my G&T too much to have it ruined by a chemical fluid with juniper in it.

  3. This gin would’ve been good…in prohibition times when nothing good was available, an overly sweet punch with subtle earthy tastes, I feel bad storing it alongside my other Australian gins.

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